March 2, 2021

Let’s Get lost For A While…

Stephanie Payne Hurt

This has been a crazy year and we’re only a little over a month in. But, as writers, we have the chance to help people that are depressed, anxious, or even beyond agitated. We, the writers of the world can help change their mindset, if just for a little while. And surprisingly enough, that could be all it takes to get them out of that deep void that things of this world bring on.

That’s one of the reasons I began writing romance. I wanted to make a difference. You might be asking, how does romance change anything. Well, let me enlighten you. A romance novel can take you to another time, another world, another life. Think about it. In a romance, the main characters are moving toward one another in a story that can be set in a contemporary setting, or maybe a castle in the medieval times, but it’s not focused on the now, which is a little scary. A romance novel is focused on the two main characters finding the love that will bring them together. And for a time, the reader can join them on that journey.

In the world we’re in at the moment, authors are finding new ways to get their work in front of people. We’re using social media, blogging, magazines, and podcasts to get the word out. It seems like a bygone era when we would do author signings, writing conventions, and meet and greets. So, as authors, we’re finding a way. We have to evolve with the changing times.

I’ve ramped up my social media posting which includes my blog posts. It’s amazing the response that many writers, including myself, are getting through social media. But it’s one of the few ways we can reach out to our readers. And the funny thing is, the readers are reaching out to writers through social media. They are hungry, almost desperate for the release that our books can give them. I’m in awe of some of the comments I’ve received from my fans. They need to get lost, if only for a couple of hours.

Most authors are stepping out of their comfort zone, myself included. I’ve set up a podcast. Some authors are doing vlogs and zoom book tours. Recently I participated in a video with fellow Cowboy Romance authors that showcased our newest books. It was fun and the fans were thrilled. We were able to get in front of our fans as well as give them a smile. As for my podcast, it’s still in the works, but I will be releasing the first session this month. It will focus on coffee time, writing, and showcasing my fellow authors in interviews or snippets from their books. It’s one way to get the word out.

Now, during this trying time, I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone with a new genre. Yes, you heard me right. My new series is a Christian Suspense Romance. It’s full of spine-tingling mystery, dabbled with romance and suspense that will have you guessing until the end as to what will happen. These are the kind of books that help people get lost for a while. They need something to test their mind and send them on a trip to the unknown. That’s my aim in this new series, In Harm’s Way.

One of the sad things about this current situation we’re in is the lack of family vacations. So many are having to cancel plans and it’s heartbreaking. But through the words of a book, you can take a trip to an exotic island, a hot desert, the Tuscan hills, or even to the snowy plains of Montana. But, as writers, we have the pleasure of taking our readers on a mini vacation. And if we word it right, they’ll feel like they’re right there with the characters. I had a reader tell me they felt the snow on their face, which made me squeal with delight. I hit my mark.

Since Valentine’s Day is this weekend, make it special. Set up some candles, the fine china, and serve your sweet tea or wine in goblets. You can include the kids and make it a special family night. The theme is love, and we can show that through our actions. Eat a little extra chocolate and sit down with a book that can be read to all ages. Maybe read a children’s book or travel book about another land. Take your family or just yourself on a journey through the words of an author. Get lost in the moment and enjoy the time you have together. Make it special.

On a final note. Even though things look bleak, you can power through the dreary, mundane things happening now. Turn off the television and grab a book. It’s good for your mental health and will take you on an adventure that can leave you breathless, happy, and refreshed. So, laugh, love, and enjoy every moment of life. And if it takes getting lost in a book for a while, then do that. All authors strive to help send you on that adventure, so make sure to let them know if you loved the book. It helps the author know that they are helping, if only for a moment.

Let’s get lost for a while…

Stephanie Hurt lives in Georgia with her husband Tommy and their son Hunter, along with two dogs, Daisy and Jake. When Stephanie is not lost in one of the worlds that she creates, she's an accountant and children's minister. She has been writing the stories that fill her mind since she was a teenager. The moment a story comes into her mind, she's mesmerized and soon she's diving into the story with a cup of hot green tea and a notebook. Before long, the story has bones and is ready for the laptop. She happily types away in the early morning and at night. You can always find her with a notebook full of stories that have yet to come to life. Follow her journey in each of her over 40 published works.

Stephanie Payne Hurt loves to hear from fans and hopes that she's helped them go to another world for at least a while!

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